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Saturday, February 03, 2024


by Alison Luterman

Palestinian children killed in Israeli attacks in Gaza:  Here is a list of the names we know, from more than 11,500 children killed during Israel’s war on Gaza. Even this is less than half of those killed. | Al Jazeera Newsfeed

If I'm being honest about it
and I'm probably not, 
I've had my head in the sand
all this time, not
like an ostrich, but like a person
who doesn't know which voice to listen to
amid the explosions and the shouting,
and I don't know what I'd do 
if I were in charge of anything
over there, which, 
thank God, I am not,
I don't know anything
anymore, but still—if the price
of the place
is to kill and kill
and keep killing
and if you had to
see it up close, for yourself,
the small, shattered bodies, 
the homes, markets, schools, the
with its roof torn off,
the piles of naked, bound men
loaded onto a truck
going nowhere, and be told, not
for the first time,
that this was all being done
for your supposed benefit
or ultimate safety—
then what? Not
in my name, we say, 
but that does not
change anything 
on the ground, the knot
of history, too snarled and 
tightly matted with the blood 
of innocents, cannot
be picked apart
by even the most nimble fingers, 
and the riddle: 
how many babies' bones
are worth the illusion
of a homeland?  

Alison Luterman is the author of four books of poetry, most recently In the Time of Great Fires from Catamaran Press. She teaches and writes in Oakland, California.